M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): What's the difference?

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022)

Apple this week unveiled its powerful new M2 MacBook Pro (2023) 14" and 16" models featuring the all-new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. 

This marks the most-powerful iteration of Apple silicon we've ever seen and means Apple's line-up of portable Macs for Pros is better than ever. 

Apple now sells this alongside the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch model, which was unveiled with the first M2 chip last year. So what are the main differences between these machines? In short, the newer 2023 MacBook Pro is larger, heavier, and more expensive. But it's also much more powerful and has a much better display, as well as more ports. 

The older 2022 model is great for users who don't need tons of raw power, and for those who are on a tight budget. If you're looking for a powerful machine to do photo and video editing, play some games, and generally push a laptop to the limit, the 2023 model is the one to choose. It also has a better screen and larger display options, as well as more options for storage, RAM, and processing power. 

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): At a glance

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SpecsM2 MacBook Pro 2022M2 Pro and Max MacBook Pro 2023
PriceFrom $1,299From $1,999/$2,499
ColorsSpace Grey/SilverSpace Grey/Silver
Display13.3" Retina Display 14.2"/16.2" Liquid Retina XDR Display
Resolution2560x1600 pixels3024x1964 pixels/3456x2234 pixels
ChipsM2M2 Pro and M2 Max
CPU8-coreUp to 12
GPU10-coreUp to 38-core
Unified Memory (size)8GB 16GB 24GB16GB 32GB 64GB 96GB
Unified Memory (speed)100GB/sUp to 400GB/s
SSD Storage 256GB 512GB 1TB 2TB256GB 512GB 1TB 2TB 4TB 8TB
Battery lifeUp to 20 hoursUp to 18/22 hours 14"//16"
Touch IDYesYes
Touch BarYesNo
FaceTime Camera720p1080p
SpeakersStereoSix-speaker sound system with woofers
MicThree-mic arrayThree-mic array
3.5mm headphone jackYesYes
Keyboard65 U.S. keys78 U.S. keys
Wireless802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Bluetooth 5.0Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) Bluetooth 5.3
PortsThunderbolt/USB 4 x2Thunberbolt/USB 4 x3
SD Card SlotNo Yes

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Processor

M2 Pro, M2 Max

(Image credit: Apple)

The new M2 MacBook Pro (2023) comes with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. These offer vastly more processing power in terms of more CPU and GPU cores, as well as more unified RAM that's also quicker. The older M2 MacBook Pro (2022) 13" comes with the original M2 chip, limited to just 8 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores. If processing power is at the top of your list, you need to pick the newer 14 or 16-inch model.

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Design

M2 Macbook Pro 13 Inch Close Up Of Touch Bar

(Image credit: Future)

The newer 2023 MacBook Pro has a larger, squarer design compared to the 2022 MacBook. It's also a bit heavier, and naturally larger because of the bigger screen sizes. The larger design enables more ports for connectivity and MagSafe charging. 

Naturally, the 14 and 16-inch models are larger in terms of both width, and depth, and are also heavier. The newer 2023 models also don't come with a Touch Bar, whereas the 2022 13-inch Pro is the last Mac to feature the ill-fated but loved-by-some design. 

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Display

Apple M2 MacBook Pro 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

The new M2 MacBook Pro (2023) has a much better display than the 2022 13-inch model. The latter only has a Retina Display, whereas the former has a Liquid Retina XDR display. This means you're not only getting more pixels and a larger display area, but also a much brighter display at 1,000 nits of sustained brightness, compared to just 500 nits in the 13-inch model. It also peaks at 1,600 nits for HDR content.

Perhaps more importantly, the M2 MacBook Pro (2023) refreshes at 120Hz thanks to ProMotion technology which can adjust the refresh rate of your device depending on what you're doing. This saves battery and gives you a much smoother experience when you're using it, just like you might have seen on a device like the iPhone 14 Pro.

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Battery life and charging

The 13-inch MacBook Pro's battery is good for up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing, or 20 hours of Apple TV app movie playback, and is charged using a 67W USB-C Power Adapter. 

The 2023 14 and 16-inch models are good for 12 hours and 15 hours of wireless web browsing respectively, which is less than the 2022 model. However, the larger 16-inch model does offer more Apple TV app playback than the 13-inch model. Battery life will largely depend on how and what you use your machine for, but the more powerful 2023 Pro machines will eat up more charge simply because they're more capable.

The 2023 models offer MagSafe charging, whereas you're stuck with USB-C on the 2022 13-inch model. The 2023 models also come with fast charge for speedy battery replenishment. However, you'll need to use a USB-C port for that, so there is a small trade-off.  

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Storage and RAM

Apple's 2023 MacBook Pro line up on a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

The 2023 MacBook Pro models offer much higher options for both unified memory and storage, although neither model are user-upgradeable. 

The 2023 14 and 16-inch models come with up to 96GB of unified memory and up to 8TB of SSD storage. The 2022 model only offers up to 24GB and 2TB respectively. 

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Speakers, audio, and ports

The newer 2023 MacBook Pro offers a high-fidelity six-speaker sound system with force-canceling woofers to stop your Mac from vibrating while playing audio. The 2022 13-inch model only has stereo sound. 

Both support Spatial Audio through their speakers and Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking using AirPods. There's no difference in the "studio-quality" mic array either, and both come with a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

The 2023 MacBook Pro offers more ports, including an extra USB-C port, HDMI, and an SDXC slot for your memory cards. 

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Connectivity

Both models come with Bluetooth for peripherals like keyboards and mice, as well as Wi-Fi. The 2022 13-inch Pro only offers Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, whereas the 2023 model has Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, enabling stronger and faster connectivity for both.

M2 MacBook Pro 14" & 16" (2023) vs M2 MacBook Pro 13" (2022): Which should you buy?

If you're choosing between the new M2 MacBook Pro (2023) 14 and 16-inch and last year's 13-inch model, then your purchase depends on your needs. If you need raw power for intensive tasks like photo and video editing, or the best display possible for viewing and creativity, go with the new 2023 model. If you're on a tighter budget or you want a slightly more portable machine, the older machine is the way to go. 

The new M2 MacBook Pro is definitely a cut above the 13-inch model, as embodied by its hefty price tag and plethora of extra power. That being said, if money or portability are important you might find yourself leaning towards the older one. There is another option, which is to look at the old 14- and 16-inch MacBook, which you can probably find a bit cheaper now the new one is out. We've put together a run down of the M2 MacBook Pro 2023 vs the 2021 model to help you pick. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9